Sunday, 11 December 2011

Fabulous Followers Giveaway!

To celebrate hitting 200 followers on Twitter, I promised to do a giveaway - and I'm making good on my promise! Read on for your chance to win these five fabulous YA books...

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

The blurb: "There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

"Then, at last, they found the cure."

Numbers by Rachel Ward
The blurb: "Since the day her mother died, Jem has known about the numbers. When she looks in someone's eyes, she can see the date they will die.

"Life is hard, until she meets a boy called Spider. Suddenly her world seems brighter.

"But on a trip to London, Jem foresees a chain of events that will shatter their lives for ever..."

Ultraviolet by R J Anderson

The blurb: "Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.

"This is not her story.

"Unless you count the part where I killed her."

The Declaration by Gemma Malley

The blurb: "My name is Anna and I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't exist. But I do.

"Anna hides her secret diary away each night because she doesn't want to get into trouble for breaking the rules. Life in Grange Hall is governed by rules, rules that have to be obeyed in order to make up for breaking the biggest rule of all. Being born.

"But when Peter arrives and starts to tell Anna shocking things about the outside world, she learns to question the rules and, with Peter, struggles to escape the past and find a better future."

0.4 by Mike Lancaster

The blurb: "My name is Kyle Straker and I don't exist any more.

"So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...

"If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie.

"And if everything is a lie does that mean that we are, too?"

So, how do you win this brilliant bundle of books, you ask? Simply follow these three steps for your chance of winning!

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. In the comments box below, tell me which YA/MG book has most impressed you this year and why. (Please remember to add your Twitter handle so that I can let you know if you've won!)
  3. Tweet a link to this competition.
See? Easy as.

This competition is open to international followers and closes at 8pm (GMT) on 31st December. So yes - one lucky person will be starting out the new year as a WINNER!

Good luck and thanks for checking out my 200 Fabulous Followers competition.

Kat out x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Breaking the tension

... or, more specifically, fighting the urge to do so.

Having speculated a fair bit recently on some of my Bad Writing Habits (procrastination, making unfounded assumptions, flitting between UK and US phrasing... the list goes on) I thought I'd write a post about one of my worst: inserting humour at a critical point in a really tense scene, completely bursting the stress-bubble I've managed to create for my characters.

And this is very, very wrong.

As a reader, you want the tension to remain taut 'n' fraught until the scene reaches its climax, at which point you can release that long-held breath. I get it, I'm the same. The thing is, when I'm writing I tend to make my protags react the way I would in real life (without really thinking about it - another Bad Writing Habit).

*Note to self: I am NOT my characters!!

I try and iron all this out in the editing, but some little snarky bits still slip through. Luckily, that's where my critical friends - armed with swords and catchers mitts - storm in to demand I take the scene more seriously.

"You can't have a boob joke there - she's facing down a serial killer!"

So I move my boob jokes around (or just cut them entirely - I'm not that big on the boob jokes, honestly) and end up - I hope - with a nice bit of angst and tension keeping the reader sucked into the story.

And that's what you want, right? A sucked-in reader is far preferable to one who doesn't really get torn up when the serial killer runs over the female protag's dog because they're still laughing at the lame joke. The dog was cute, prone to saving children from burning buildings and such.

So that's what I'll keep telling myself: it's not funny! I NEED TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL BAD ABOUT THE DOG!

Outs x x